James Brooks  (American, 1906-1992) 

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James Brooks (American, 1906–1992) was a renowned Abstract Expressionist painter. He was considered to be among the first generation of American Abstract Expressionists who employed staining as a painting technique. Born in St. Louis, MO, Brooks lived in a number of cities and states before his family finally settled in Dallas, TX. In 1922, he graduated from Oak Cliff High School, and he later studied art at the Southern Methodist University. He also attended the Dallas Art Institute and took private art lessons from Martha Simkins (American, 1866–1969).

Brooks moved to New York in 1926, where he worked as a commercial artist while attending night classes at the Art Students League under Boardman Robinson (American, 1876–1952). By 1930, Brooks was exhibiting works done in a Social Realist style in New York galleries and exhibitions. One of his 1950s famous murals titled Flight was painted 235 feet along the Marine Air Terminal's rotunda at La Guardia Airport in New York. The mural, which was considered to be a symbol of left-wing ideas, was taken down, but restored in 1980 after protests by artists, historians, and curators.

After serving in the United States Army between 1942 and 1945, Brooks returned to New York, NY, and developed a new style of Abstract painting based on synthetic Cubism ideas of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973). He worked on a series of stained canvases in the Abstract Expressionist style, which were featured at the Peridot Gallery in New York, NY. Brooks’s work was featured in group exhibitions, such as the 1951 Ninth Street Exhibition and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Some of his solo exhibitions include the James Brooks: Six Decades exhibition at the Joan T. Washburn Gallery in New York, NY, in 2002, and In Confluence at the Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY, in 2009. Brooks was also remembered as a great art teacher at the University of Philadelphia, PA, and at Columbia University in New York. He died of Alzheimer's disease in his Long Island home in 1992.

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James Brooks, Untitled

 

James Brooks
Untitled
1972

Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art
James Brooks, Untitled

 

James Brooks
Untitled
1954

Simon Capstick-Dale Fine Art
James Brooks, Composition

 

James Brooks
Composition
circa 1947

Van Doren Waxter
James Brooks, Maine

 

James Brooks
Maine
1948

Van Doren Waxter
James Brooks, Chinese Still Life

 

James Brooks
Chinese Still Life
1947

Van Doren Waxter
James Brooks, #13

 

James Brooks
#13
1949

Van Doren Waxter
James Brooks, Gudrun

 

James Brooks
Gudrun
1971

Peyton Wright Gallery
James Brooks, Hoobin

 

James Brooks
Hoobin
1968

Hollis Taggart Galleries
James Brooks, Naran

 

James Brooks
Naran
1982

Manny Silverman Gallery
Past auction results (157)  View All
James Brooks, R

 

James Brooks
R, 1951
oil on canvas

 

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James Brooks, Dorc

 

James Brooks
Dorc, 1968
acrylic on canvas

 

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James Brooks, Blue drawing

 

James Brooks
Blue drawing, 1965
oil on paper

 

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1906   Born in St. Louis, Missouri
1923 - 1925   Studied at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
1926   Moved to New York City and attended night classes at Art Students League
1936 - 1942   WPA Project with Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston
1947   Instructor of drawing at Columbia University, New York, NY
1947   Married painter Charlotte Park
1992   Died in East Hampton, NY
2011   Abstract Expressionism: Reloading the Canon, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
2011   After Paradise, Jason McCoy Inc., New York, NY, curated by Stephanie Buhmann
2010   James Brooks: Paintings and Works on Paper from the 1940s, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2009   James Brooks: Geometry and Gesture: Selected Works from 1968 – 1979, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2009   2009 In Confluence: James Brooks and Giorgio Cavallon, Jason McCoy Gallery
2009   The Gallery Selection, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, Germany
2009   Collect with us, Armand Bartos Fine Art, New York, NY
2009   Abstract Expressionism: Further Evidence, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
2008   Peggy Guggenheim e la Nuova Pittura Americana, Arca, Chiesa di San Marco, Vercelli,
2008   Black & White, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, Germany
2008   Fall Selections, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008   Mostly Black and White, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008   East End Artists, Past and Present , Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
2008   James Brooks: A Selection from the Estate from 1952-1980, American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich, Germany (solo)
2008   James Brooks: Black and White + Color, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2008   James Brooks. Works from the 7 - Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Black and White + Color - Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York City, NY (solo)
2007   September Selections, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007   Charles Pollock: The Chapala Series 1955-1956, Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY
2006   Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, St. Louis, MO (solo)
2006   James Brooks: Variations on a Theme, Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2006   James Brooks at the Dallas Museum of Art - A Celebration - Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
James Brooks - Variations on a Theme - Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2005   Omaggio a James Brooks - Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (solo)
2005   James Brooks: A Survey of Small Paintings, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005   Artists and Nature in Eastern Long Island: 1940s to Today, Spanierman Gallery
2005   The Irascibles: on paper, CDS Gallery, November 4 - January 21, New York, NY
2005   Another View: New York School, Opalka Gallery, Albany, NY
2005   Accrochage, Kouros Gallery, November 1 - December 30, New York, NY
2004   Black & White, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY
2004   James Brooks Selected Works 1948-1986 Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2003   Selected Paintings 1960-85, Artemis Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2002   James Brooks: Six Decades, Joan T. Washburn Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2001   James Brooks: In Retrospect , Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY (solo)
1993   Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, NY
1981   Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
1976   National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1969   Berenson Gallery, Miami, FL
1969   Museum of Modern Art, NY, NY
1968   Martha Jackson Gallery, NY, NY
1967   Metropolitan Museum of American Art, NY, NY
1966   Philadelphia Art Alliance
1965   Kootz Gallery, NY, NY
1963   Whitney Museum of Art, NY, NY
1961   Kootz Gallery New York
1950   Peridot Gallery, New York, NY (first solo show)
  Selected Collections
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Detroit Institute of Art, Illinois
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Tate Gallery, London
Whitney Museum of American Art, NewYork
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Art Institute of Chicago
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Dallas Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Austin, Texas